Loose Women star Brenda Edwards has been confirmed to take over Gemma Collins’ role in a new UK tour of Chicago (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
TV icon Brenda is set to take on the role of Mama Morton in the production, after making her West End debut as the character all the way back in 2007.
The Loose Women panellist and former X Factor contestant, 53, will join the cast for dates in June and July.
An insider said Gemma was ‘absolutely gutted’ to have to pull out of the show, adding she was ‘in floods of tears and is inconsolable.’
Brenda, who has also appeared in Hairspray, Carousel and We Will Rock You, will now take her place, starting on June 2, for dates in Sunderland, Cardiff, Blackpool, Sheffield, Norwich and Oxford.
Gemma was forced to pull out of the show after suffering a knee injury (Picture: PA)
She will star alongside the previously announced cast of Lee Mead as Billy Flynn, Faye Brookes as Roxie Hart, Djalenga Scott as Velma Kelly, Jamie Baughan as Amos Hart and BE Wong as Mary Sunshine.
Brenda’s run will continue until July 23 with dates at Cardiff New Theatre, Winter Gardens Blackpool, Sheffield Lyceum Theatre, Norwich Theatre Royal and New Theatre Oxford.
Chicago is based on the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins and has a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse with music by John Kander.
Brenda previously played Mama Morton at the Chicago 10th Anniversary shows in 2007 (Picture:Getty Images)
The news comes shortly after Brenda returned to the Loose Women panel following the sudden death of her son, entrepreneur Jamal Edwards.
Edwards died on February 20 from a heart attack at the age of 31, with Brenda recently revealing she was there to hold his hand as he died.
The influential music entrepreneur found fame after setting up the music platform SBTV in 2006, and was credited with helping to launch a string of UK music acts to stardom, including Ed Sheeran, Dave and Jessie J.
A charity set up in his honour, the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust, was launched by Brenda and his family earlier this year.
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